Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Wisconsin Boating Fatality Summary - 2009 Season

Updated through January 26, 2010

# Date /
Water Body/
# Fatalities/
Age, Gender
Accident Type/
Cause of Death
Boat Type/
Size (length/hp)
PFD Alcohol Involved /
BAC Level
1. 04/08/09 Namekagon River 1 Fell Overboard Kayak No Not Known
  9pm Washburn 45, Male Drowning 12'    
Victim was reported missing on 4/8 at 9pm. Body was recovered on 4/12 near the launch site, Stinnett Landing.
2. 04/18/09 Lac Court Oreilles 1 Fell Overboard Open No No
  10pm Sawyer 43, Male Drowning 13'11" / 7.5    
Victim was spear fishing with son and friend. When the boat was moving across the lake in rough water, it struck a wave and capsized. Son and friend swam to shore. Victim did not, and has not been found.
3. 05/02/09 Eagle Lake 1 Capsizing Kayak No Not known
  After 8pm Racine 42, Male Drowning 10'  
Subject reported missing by co-workers, kayak and paddle located along shoreline. Exact circumstances unknown.
4. 05/07/09 Lake Wapogasset 2 Fell Overboard Open No Yes, 0.300
  3am Polk 27, Male Drowning 14', 9hp    
Victims (4 & 5), with a 19 yr old female went boating around midnight. 19 yr old awoke with wet feet from water in the boat. The boat soon sank. The 19 yr old grabbed a PFD and swam to shore for help. Victims' bodies were recovered about 10:30 later that morning.
5. 05/07/09 Lake Wapogasset 2 Fell Overboard Open No Yes, 0.270
  3am Polk 28, Male Drowning 14', 9hp    
Was with victim #4.
6. 05/30/09 Montana Lake 1 Fell Overboard Canoe No No
  3:37PM Marinette 47, Male Drowning 15'6    
Father & daughter were in canoe when father fell overboard. Daughter who was wearing a PFD was unable to assist father who was not wearing a PFD.
7. 06/21/09 Malby Lake 1 Fell overboard Rowboat No Not Known
  2pm Oneida 70, Male Drowning 12'    
Husband & wife were fishing when Husband reached for a fishing pole and fell overboard causing boat to capsize.
8. 06/23/09 Found Lake 1 Fell overboard Open No Not known
  10AM Vilas 75, Male Unknown 14' / 7.5hp    
Father & son were fishing when Father reached over side of boat to wash hands. While returning to the seat, he lost his balance & fell overboard.
9. 06/25/09 McKinley Lake 1 Unknown Rowboat No Not known
  3:30PM Forest 19, Male Drowning 10'  
Brother heard victim calling for help from lake. Brother saw victim in water next to boat approx. 50 yds. from shore. Victim went under & did not resurface.
10. 07/14/09 Browns Lake 1 Swimming from drifting boat Open No No
  1:57PM Racine 14, Male Drowning 18' / 120hp  
Victim was part of school group recreating on Lake. Victim jumped from boat to go swimming and immediately was seen struggling. Boat Operator attempted rescue but boat & victim were floating apart.
11. 07/14/09 Fish Lake 1 Fell Overboard Open No No
  1:00PM Lincoln 66, Male Drowning 14'/No motor    
Victim was fishing from a lawn chair in his boat. Friends were fishing in nearby boat. Victim was observed leaning & falling overbard. He shouted for help. Friends could not reach him before he went beneath the surface a second time.
12. 09/06/09 Bay of Green Bay 1 Fell Overboard Cabin No Yes
  10:32PM Door 39, Male Drowning 27'/Not Provided   Not known
While on a trip from Fish Creek to Marinette, it was discovered the victim was missing & presumed fell overboard.
13. 09/09/09 Lake Monona 1 Swimming from drifting boat Open No Yes
  9:40PM Dane 36, Male Unknown 14', Not provided   Not known
Operator and passenger went swimming after day of fishing. Operator noticed victim was missing and returned to boat to look for victim. Victim was found four days later.
14. 09/13/09 St. Croix River 1 Swimming from drifting boat Pontoon No Not known
  6pm St. Croix 38, Male Drowning 20'/50hp   Not known
Passenger on drifting pontoon boat jumped into water to swim. Was unable to swim back to drifting boat.
15. 09/14/09 Lake Monona 1 Fell Overboard Open No Not known
  6:45PM Dane 39, Male Drowning 14' / 115hp   Not known
Boat encountered a wave which caused operator, victim, wife, and twin sons to fall overboard. All but the victim were rescued by nearby boaters.
16. 09/18/09 Rowley's Bay, Lake Michigan 1 Fell overboard Kayak No Not known
  Unknown Door 60, Male Unknown      
Victim was last seen kayaking on 9/18. Abandoned kayak was found on 9/20 with victim's personal cell phone and PFD on the kayak deck. Body not recovered.